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May 23, 2015
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Sneak Peek

Sneak Peek: Clementine’s Creamery in Lafayette Square

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

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Just in time for summer, Clementine’s Creamery is set to scoop at 1637 S. 18th St. The new Lafayette Square ice cream shop celebrates its grand opening Saturday, May 16 at noon.

Owner Tamara Keefe has crafted and peddled her rich ice creams in St. Louis since August 2014, and nearly 20 St. Louis-area restaurants including Old Standard Fried Chicken, Cleveland-Heath and Pi Pizza feature them on menus. Now, customers can snatch up “naughty” (alcohol-infused) and “nice” (non-alcoholic) creations any time at the petite 550-square-foot shop.

Clementine’s will offer a rotating selection of 24 regular and seasonal flavors, made ultra-creamy thanks to a high 16- to 18-percent butterfat content. Choose from seven to eight boozy flavors like the Old-Fashioned or a Moscow Mule, or try a nice option like Salted Crack Caramel or Manchego with Truffles. Keefe will also feature one rotating vegan option, like chocolate coconut fudge made with coconut milk.

Mix and match two, three or five flavors and pop them into a house-made waffle cone or bowl. DIY sundaes will see unique toppings for customers’ creamy creations, too, like candied bacon and honey-roasted pistachios and sauces like house-made hot fudge or lemon-infused olive oil.

Keefe has partnered with several area businesses for her flavors. Gooey butter cake from Lafayette Square neighbor Park Avenue Coffee makes an appearance in one non-alcoholic creation, while the Belgian Beauty features with Perennial Artisan Ale’s Saison de Lis.

Other offerings at Clementine’s include affogatos, ice cream sandwiches made with macarons from La Patisserie Chouquette and the Lava Love, a decadent dessert of molten lava cake from Whisk topped with a scoop of ice cream and hot fudge.

Curious customers can get an early taste tonight, May 14 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. After doors officially open on Saturday, Clementine’s will operate from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Here’s what to expect at St. Louis’ newest ice cream shop:

 

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-photos by Meera Nagarajan

Sneak Peek: Público

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

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Nearly one year ago, restaurateur Mike Randolph announced his plans to open South American gastropub Público at 6679 Delmar Blvd., just doors from his Neopolitan pizzeria The Good Pie in The Loop. The wait for the wood-fired cantina is nearly over; Público opens doors for dinner March 3.

The menu is divided into crudo (raw), botanas (snacks), tacos, arepas (corn pancakes), parrilla (grill items) and desserts. In the raw section, look for appetizers like oysters and tiradito, a Peruvian dish of raw fish similar to sashimi served with a spicy aji pepper sauce. Botanas range from El Tri, a trio of house-made dips and salsas served with corn flatbread, to jalapeno soup with smoked trout. Diners can expect tacos with fillings such as seared shrimp, smoked chorizo, carnitas and carne asada on stone-ground corn tortillas made in-house. A custom-built open-wood hearth that also has smoking capabilities will turn out everything from Argentinian-style steak to whole grilled snapper. Although menu items cap at $15, expect an elevated presentation reminiscent of Randolph’s former restaurants-within-a-restaurant, Little Country Gentleman and Medianoche.

On the beverage side, bar manager Nick Diogiovanni will put rum, tequila and mezcal center stage. A frozen drink machine will also churn out a rotation of boosy slushes like Fernet and Coke. The wine list will focus on South American and Spanish wines, along with cellar wines (that include an extensive riesling selection from Little Country Gentleman days).

SPACE Architects + Design renovated the former hair salon, which now offers seating for 60 guests at a bar, a wall of booths, a 10-seat community table and a few stools along the counter next to the open kitchen.

Here’s what to expect when Público unlocks doors March 3:

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

Sneak Peek: Taco Circus

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Quick-service Mexican restaurant Taco Circus is opening doors at 4258 Schiller Place in Bevo Mill Friday, Feb. 27. As Sauce reported in November, the restaurant is a venture by longtime friends and taco lovers, Mikey Carrasco and Christian Ethridge.

Although the entire menu is available all day (Taco Circus will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.), the morning crowd might prefer to fill up on breakfast tacos filled with farm eggs, potatoes or house-made chorizo, saving the ground beef, chicken, pork steak and other fillings for lunch and dinner. Diners choose between soft flour, soft corn or a fried corn tortilla and toppings of either cilantro and onion or lettuce and tomato. Other additions, such as cheese and sour cream, are extra. Sides like beans, rice, chips and salsa are offered a la carte.

While tacos are the main event, other offerings include a Frito pie, a taco salad and funnel cake dusted with cinnamon sugar and drizzled with lemon-butter icing. No item is priced higher than $2.25, even though the meat is sourced from respected Missouri farms such as Rain Crow Ranch and Root + Holler. “We want (customers) to compare us to Taco Bell as far as price goes,” said Carrasco.

Service will also be as fast-casual as Taco Bell. Considering that the brightly painted 700-square-foot space only has 14 seats, Carrasco and Ethridge expect to do more carryout that dine-in business.

Here’s what to expect when Taco Circus unlocks its front door on Feb. 27:

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

Sneak Peek: Lascelles Granite City Tap & Grill

Friday, February 13th, 2015

“For so long, there’s been nothing in Granite City,” said Ian Nesbit, barkeep at Lascelles Granite City Tap & Grill, which opens Saturday, Feb. 14 at 1324 Niedringhaus Ave., in Granite City.

Under the direction of seasoned chef Eric Brenner, and with the backing of owner Lance Callis, who is silently reinvigorating the workaday Granite City dining scene via various food- and beverage-related projects, Lascelles aspires to put itself on the map as an upscale dining stop for the blue-collar town east of the Mississippi River.

The menu, which Brenner calls “new American, upscale comfort,” is divided into snacks and sides, starters, salads, sandwiches (available only at lunch) and dinner entrees. Dishes range from starters like pot roast nachos to entrees like chicken and dumplings (smoked half-chicken served with gnocchi, roasted carrots and mushrooms) to sweet house-made desserts, such as cookies and milk (chocolate chip cookies plated with a vanilla bean milkshake). Look also for daily specials on smoked meats, seafood, steak and pasta.

Here’s what to expect when Lascelles opens this weekend.

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

Sneak Peek: The Old Bakery Beer Company

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

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Alton is about to lure St. Louisans over the Mississippi river with the opening of The Old Bakery Beer Company. The brewery and tasting room is set to open doors this Friday, Jan. 23 at 400 Landmarks Blvd.

As The Scoop reported in March 2014, the newest metro-area brewery is a joint venture between married co-owners Lauren Pattan and James Rogalsky. Both earned their brewing and business chops at Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. Pattan was sustainability and operations manager, then general manager for UCBC’s tasting rooms, and Rogalsky was an assistant brewer and is a graduate of the American Brewers Guild’s Intensive Brewing Science & Engineering course.

The 18,000-square-foot space has a long history in Alton. It saw life as three different bakeries since its construction in the 1800s, most recently as Colonial Bakery. After that facility closed in the mid-‘80s, Pattan said the space changed hands several times before she and Rogalsky signed the lease last year.

The nondescript brick façade belies the extensive brewing facility inside. To get to the tasting room, guests walk down a wide hallway past a wall of windows looking into a 15-barrel brewhouse. The tasting room seats 197 at tables and a 50-foot custom bar created by local designer Mwanzi. Rustic vintage décor (including a large Colonial Baking sign and tap handles made from rolling pins, nods to the building’s heritage) decks the walls, much of it purchased from Alton antique shops.

Patrons can belly up to the bar and order one of six Old Bakery beers, all brewed with organic American ingredients, including a rye pale ale, a dark mild served on nitro and an India black ale. Along with a small cocktail list, Old Bakery Beer also has a well-curated menu of whiskeys and other spirits. Missouri and Illinois wine is also available. While you sip, nosh on hearty servings of soups, salads, sandwiches and snacks prepared by chef Matt Cooper.

Hours of operation will be Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Here’s what to expect when the doors open Friday:

 

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

Sneak Peek: Seoul Taco and Seoul Q

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

“This city has never seen anything like this.” Seoul Taco co-owner David Choi was talking about the barbecue grills fitting inside tables at his upcoming Korean barbecue and hotpot restaurant, Seoul Q, but the statement holds true for everything Choi has done at 6665 Delmar Blvd., in University City. The space is the new home for Choi’s relocated Seoul Taco, and its sister restaurant, Seoul Q. While they share a space, Seoul Taco will open later this week, and Seoul Q is slated to open at the end of December.

Upon entering, diners encounter a host stand in front of a partition made from colorfully painted boomboxes. Step right for Korean-Mexican fusion; step left for Korean barbecue and hotpots. The decor is as much a cultural mashup as Seoul Taco’s fusion fare is. A sculpture made from a 1942 Ford Metro van is mounted on the wall next to murals of Korean martial arts fighters wearing Mexican luchador masks.

Seoul Taco is still counter service, but there’s plenty more elbowroom at 76-seat space compared to its former 18-person confines down the street at 571 Mehlville Ave. The menu at Seoul Taco remains the same, but patrons can expect daily specials like Korean barbecue tortas and nachos. And now that it has a liquor license, patrons can wash down their tacos and burritos with 4 Hands brews on tap.

On the other side of the boomboxes, full-service Seoul Q is just as boisterous, but with a more industrial feel. Eight cylindrical exhaust hoods extend over those DIY barbecue grills in the center of poured concrete tables, and a dark wood scape runs the length of one wall, a signature touch of Smartmouth Designs, the Chicago-based interior design company that worked on the space.

The Seoul Q menu is divided into appetizers, soups and hotpots and barbecue. Patrons ordering the latter choose between various cuts of beef and pork to grill at the table. The meat comes with rice, six sides, vegetables and a choice of soup. A barbecue order generally serves two to three people. Meanwhile, meat and seafood hotpots are kept warm at induction stovetops set into some tables. Beverages include bottled craft beer and cocktails featuring soju, a Korean spirit.

Here’s a look at what to expect at Seoul Taco and Seoul Q when both restaurants open:

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

 

Sneak Peek: Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Chris Bolyard announced in February that he would be leaving his post as chef de cuisine at Sidney Street Cafe to open a butcher shop with his wife, Abbie Bolyard. Some 10 months later, the Bolyard’s are ready to unlock doors to Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions at 2810 Sutton Blvd. The boutique butcher shop opens this Friday, Nov. 28 in Maplewood.

Old-school, artisanal and whole-animal all figure into the Bolyards’ approach to their business. Animals are sourced from smaller family farms in Missouri and Illinois that raise their hogs, cows, lambs and chicken on pasture and without hormones, antibiotics or grain. Chris Bolyard got a taste for whole-hog butchery at Sidney Street and honed those skills further, staging at butcher shops in Chicago, Nashville and New Orleans.

At their new shop, a glass window provides a view to the cut room, where Bolyard will don a scabbard and break down whole animals like cows into sections like the chuck and brisket, rib and plate primal, hanger steak, short loin and sirloin.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute and a member of the Ones to Watch class of 2011, Bolyard will also put his charcuterie skills to work. Among prepared meat products, Bolyard will make sausages like chorizo, andouille, bratwurst, hot dogs, Toulouse (a French sausage of diced pork) and kielbasa. Also behind the deli counter, look for bacon, porchetta di testa and deli meats such as mortadella, pastrami, Bastardo (a bastardized style of salami made with beef and pork), ham and roast beef. Liver cheese, head cheese, pork rillettes and braunschweiger will be among pressed and pulled meat offerings. The shop even offers to-go cups of hot beef, chicken or pork broth, bags of fresh, house-made chicharrónes (pork rinds) and beef jerky.

Not sure what meat to buy? Need a special cut? The Bolyards aim to be a service-oriented, custom butcher shop. “It’s our job to let them know what’s in, what we have,” said Abbie Bolyard, who worked as a maitre d’ and server at Niche for five years before leaving the restaurant in 2013.

As for provisions, Bolyard’s refrigerator is filled with house-prepared kitchen staples like lard and stocks, condiments such as Worcestershire, ketchup and harissa, and fresh eggs from Vesterbrook Farm in Clarksville.

The airy, window-lined space (most recently the Black Cat Theatre lobby) rounds out its inventory with beef tallow soap, hand and lip balm made by Maplewood neighbor Maven, Woodside Urban honey, Missouri charcoal and wood chips and Yellow Tree Farms wooden kitchen utensils and cutting boards. There’s even something for four-legged friends: smoked pig ears and beef trim dog food. (A portion of profits from dog products will benefit Humane Society of Missouri.)

Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

 

 

 

Sneak Peek: Earthbound Brewing

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Cherokee Street’s Earthbound Brewing will soon lay claim to the title “St. Louis’ Shortest Brewery Tour.” At less than 1,000 square feet, it takes a person less than 30 seconds to walk from the front to the back of the shotgun-style space. Located at 2710 Cherokee St., Earthbound is smaller than most tasting rooms, but co-owners Stuart Keating, Rebecca Schranz and Jeff Siddons have big ideas for their new brewery, which opens doors tomorrow, Nov. 22.

As The Scoop first reported in July, the Earthbound Brewing team is turning their homebrew habit into a full-fledged business. Beer recipes saluting both classic styles and unique ingredients are in the works; Keating said some of the first Earthbound beers he hopes to offer include a pale ale brewed with rosemary and juniper as well as a pecan-chicory stout. Batches will be small and frequently rotated since space to actually brew is limited.

About 30 people can imbibe at the bar or at tables and stools that Keating, Schranz and Siddons crafted with salvaged local wood. The trio also decorated the narrow walls with antique farm implements and maps framed inside refurbished window frames.

Behind the bar, eight taps will eventually pour a selection of Earthbound brews and those by local favorites like Augusta Brewing, The Civil Life, Ferguson Brewing and more. Patrons can also order that most hipster of canned beers, Stag, or choose from a selection of spirits. There’s no food service at Earthbound, but customers are encouraged to pick up fare to-go from a Cherokee Street eatery and dig in over a pint.

Earthbound will be open Thursdays and Fridays from 4 p.m. to midnight and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to midnight.

 

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

Sneak Peek: Larder & Cupboard

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Those who scour grocery stores in vain for mustard-miso paste, elderberry shrubs or tart cherry grenadine, look no further. Larder & Cupboard, a specialty food store focused on small independent producers, officially opens Wednesday, Nov. 12 and will have all this and more on its shelves.

Owner Brian Pelletier, who also owns Kakao Chocolate, set up shop at 7310 Manchester Road in Maplewood, a 2,200-square-foot space that formerly housed an antique furniture store. Herringbone hardwood floors, a marble entry way and a working fireplace add to the shop’s artisanal charm. Upon entering, customers will see cupboards and shelves stacked with everything from small-batch bitters to Cool Cow Cheese to SeedGeeks heirloom seed packets.

As The Scoop first reported in August, general manager Cindy Higgerson is the woman behind the shop’s extensive inventory. Higgerson said her goal was to fill Larder & Cupboard with hard-to-find items from small, high-quality producers who source locally. St. Louis-area producers include Marcoot Jersey Creamery, Woodside Honey, Salume Beddu – and of course, Kakao. However, Higgerson said many products are new to the St. Louis market and have won or been nominated for Good Food Awards and Sofi Awards.

Area restaurants plan to add their wares to store shelves, too. Higgerson said Larder & Cupboard will soon carry fresh pasta and sauces from Pastaria, house-made condiments and sides from Juniper (currently featured in its Gift Horse holiday bags) and cuts of meat from soon-to-open Maplewood neighbor Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions.

Larder & Cupboard will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Here’s what to expect when the doors open this Wednesday:

 

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

Sneak Peek: Avenue

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Co-owners Bryan and Diane Carr have combined the best of their former restaurants Pomme and Pomme Café to open Avenue, which opens doors today, Nov. 7 at 12 N. Meramec Ave., in Clayton. The Carrs announced they would take over the former Roxane’s space just two months ago, and they’ve transformed the once raucous, eclectic venue into a more subdued, relaxed environment featuring sleek black leather, muted grays and unexpected pops of color.

As chef, Bryan Carr has brought several Pomme customer favorites to the Avenue dinner menu, including rainbow trout amandine, beef shortribs, eggplant involtini and his classic Apples for Olivia dessert. Carr is also debuting new dishes crafted with his precise execution and presentation, like starters of wild mushrooms over toasted baguette and gnocchi, along with fresh, crisp salads featuring kale, farro, roasted beets and more. The new Avenue kitchen means Carr can offer a rotating selection of fresh oysters and french fries, perfect for an entree of steak frites.

Avenue will operate for dinner service only beginning at 5 p.m. today through Wednesday, Nov. 12, after which Avenue will open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as brunch on the weekends and a late-night bar menu.

Here’s what to expect when Avenue opens doors for dinner tonight:

 

 

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

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